In honor of May being Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, Pacific Ties and Asian Pacific Coalition (APC) are teaming up to featuring Asian Pacific Islander Desi American (APIDA) Bruins. We’ll be posting one interview per day. If you’d like to share your story, fill out this form here.
Sam Gowhar is an Anderson alumni and father to PacTies staff writer Sabreen Gowhar
Tell us about yourself!
Hi, my name is Sarvath Gowhar (a.k.a. Sabreen’s dad). I go by Sam because it’s easier to pronounce at work, and I am a True Bruin. I completed my MBA from UCLA Anderson in the 90s and have worked as an entrepreneur ever since. I am currently in the consulting and IT business and hope to branch out further into the world of Big Data and “The Internet of Things.”
How do you identify ethnically?
Well, I was born and raised in India, Southern India to be exact, in the city of Chennai. I would identify myself ethnically as a South Indian, and a proud one at that. Especially since the line of work that I am in favors my ethnicity, and the corporate global climate is currently very welcoming to South Asians, since we are the brains behind the operation.
What does being a Bruin mean to you?
Wow, well it was UCLA that gave me the confidence to take on the corporate world. I was a young man from India who was trying to make it in this country. Like all immigrant parents, I wanted to give my children a better life and amass multiple opportunities in this country. UCLA showed me that an international student like myself could take on the work force like any other individual brought up in this country. I was able to put aside the fear of my accent getting the best of me and walking with pride knowing that I was attending a university with some of the brightest minds in the world. I remember, hearing these words at orientation, “As a vibrant, diverse community, UCLA offers each of everyone a singular experience based on the highest standards of excellence and integrity. Every part of UCLA life embodies the core values of our campus. We take pride in our diversity, our unparalleled programs and services, our world-class faculty and the beauty of our campus. This pride is at the heart of what it means to be a True Bruin.” Looking back, this statement made so much sense, and I agree with it wholeheartedly.
Are you still part of any associations on campus?
Yes, I am a part of the Anderson Alumni Association, I try to donate and help as much as I can. I attend networking events and have even worked with some graduates to pave their paths for a career. I also have access to Bruin View, and follow up with some students for potential jobs after reviewing resumes. I have even partook in tabling at the career fairs for my company and accepting resumes in person for potential job applicants.
Any final thoughts for current and future Bruins?
Find what you are passionate about and work towards it. UCLA allows you access to so many opportunities, from career opportunities to activism. UCLA is such a diverse campus make sure to find your space and work from the inside to bring greater issues out to the public. I think the news magazines are doing a great job in this way. They are small groups of people having multiple individuals voices heard. You may believe the system is working against you now, but you will realize that the real weapon is education, which in a corrupt system education is the key. Use UCLA as your weapon and fight for what is yours.
Check out Asian Pacific Coalition’s new website!